Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/118073
Type: Thesis
Title: The good, the right & the exigencies of life: John Dewey & the value of moral disagreement
Author: Bland, Karen Maree
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : Philosophy
Abstract: The crucial demarcation of John Dewey’s ethical theory was to advocate a shift from promoting particular moral views to emphasising a process of reflective moral enquiry that is equipped to incorporate plurality and difference. I have attempted to revisit Dewey’s relevance to the present by setting his ideas within a broader historical context than he is normally located in Pragmatist literature. Hence, an important methodological aspect of the thesis is deriving the conceptual framework through a historical analysis of David Hume’s particular brand of sentimentalism, Immanuel Kant’s unification of sentimentalism and rationalism in the third Critique and John Stuart Mill’s notion of community under the rubrics of two terms, namely Dewey’s ‘experience’ and ‘inquiry’. I demonstrate that understanding each philosopher as building on the ideas of the previous philosopher’s ethical theory provides a background to Dewey’s pragmatist ethics. This allows me to reconfigure the tendency of standard contemporary analyses of Dewey that continue to evaluate his work in terms of the very alternatives that Dewey sought to overcome, for example, objective and subjective, cognitive and non-cognitive, plural and monist. Finally, I show how Dewey’s pragmatist ethics bear upon the value of disagreement as illustrated in three case studies from the present day. This reveals Dewey’s theory in practice. Dewey’s particular conceptions of experience and enquiry, rather than any particular set of norms or principles, are employed to define his conception of the ethical. Dewey’s pragmatic proceduralism is neither normative nor meta-theoretical. Rather it describes the basis upon which one can demonstrate that one is a part of a community of ethical progress.
Advisor: McMahon, Jennifer
Gamble, Denise
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2018
Keywords: Ethics
American pragmatism
John Dewey
Hume & Dewey
Kant & Dewey
J.S. Mill & Dewey
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
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